Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sudden Infant Death Most Prevalent on New Year's

USA Today: Sudden infant deaths most common on New Year's, by Randy Dotinga:

A new study finds that more babies die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the United States on New Year's Day than any other day of the year.It's not clear why, but researchers suspect it has something to do with parents who drink heavily the night before and put their children in jeopardy." Alcohol-influenced adults are less able to protect children in their care. We're saying the same thing is happening with SIDS: They're also less likely to protect the baby from it," said study author David Phillips, a sociologist. "It seems as if alcohol is a risk factor. We just need to find out what makes it a risk factor." SIDS kills an estimated 2,500 babies in the United States each year. Some researchers think genetic problems contribute to most cases with the risk boosted when babies sleep on their stomachs. Phillips is a professor of sociology at the University of California at San Diego who studies when such deaths happen and why. He said he became curious how the choices made by parents may affect SIDS and launched the new study, which appears in the current issue of the journal Addiction. Researchers analyzed a database of 129,090 deaths from SIDS from 1973 to 2006 and 295,151 other infant deaths during that time period. . . .

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